Kevin Rose on The Next Wave of Consumer Apps and What’s Happening in the Podcast Industry – The Om Show

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Key Takeaways

  • “The one thing we have within our control is our health; not complete control, but enough where we can make some decisions to influence the outcome”
  • With any failure, you need to be able to say to yourself – “This is what I’ve learned and this is what I’m going to do differently next time”
  • There’s TONS of innovation to be had in the podcast space – specifically around podcast discovery
  • Kevin needs Podcast Notes in his life


What has Kevin been up to?

  • Having been in Silicon Valley since 2000, Kevin now lives in Oregon
  • He does some investing with True Ventures
  • Kevin is working on a fasting app (Zero) which he just hired a full-time CEO for (Mike Maser – @mmaser)
    • Check out these Podcast Notes for a discussion on fasting between Mike and Dr. Rhonda Patrick
  • He’s also working on a meditation app called Oak

What drives Kevin?

  • “I’ve always been fascinated by health and fitness”
    • The interest really began in 2000 when Kevin decided to give up soda – “I haven’t had a soda since”
    • “The one thing we have within our control is our health; not complete control, but enough where we can make some decisions to influence the outcome”
    • Kevin’s main goal is to increase his health span – this is the term for being as healthy as possible well into your upper years
  • Kevin’s interest in meditation:
    • In Silicon Valley, the work ethic culture is almost “toxic” – many people experience burn out
      • “I needed to find a way to help people find a little bit of balance”
    • “Meditation for me has been a way to just find some peace and experience a little break from the chattering mind”

Kevin’s Obsessive Nature

  • One of his obsessions – tea
    • Kevin is actually a “certified tea master”
  • Another – Cold training
    • Kevin recently completed a 10 week Wim Hof program (the final phase involves submerging your body in ice, up to your neck, for 15 minutes)
  • “When I find something that piques my interest, I want to go really deep into it”
  • One more recent interest – the medicinal benefits of mushrooms
    • Check out these Podcast Notes from Dr. Andrew Weil’s (a medicinal mushroom expert) appearance on The Kevin Rose Show
    • Kevin is specifically fascinated by the cognitive benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms
    • He recently ordered these mushroom plugs that you drill into a tree trunk/stump, and in the spring some of the plugs inoculate and turn into full on mushrooms

Kevin’s Optimistic Attitude

  • “You have to frame failure in your brain as the idea that you’ve learned something”
    • With any failure, you need to be able to say to yourself – “This is what I’ve learned and this is what I’m going to do differently next time”
  • “I just consider my life a movie”
    • “When I’m looking out through my own eyes, I just think – ‘This is my time. This is my movie. Let’s go crazy. Let’s have fun and try new things.'”
  • “I know my time [on earth] is limited. Just knowing that the clock is ticking, why get held up in my own brain and say something like, ‘Oh I can’t do this or this would make me look foolish if it doesn’t work out.’ I won’t be known as the most successful entrepreneur of all time, but I hope that at the end of the day, people will look back and say, ‘Wow – that guy lived on his own terms and tried a bunch of crazy shit. Some of it worked and some of it didn’t, but at least he had fun and went out having explored the world.'”
    • When you frame things like this – how can you not be optimistic?

Consumer Apps

  • Om thinks that the energy inside of consumer apps has faded a little bit – Kevin agrees
    • “I don’t think Instagram would have been as popular if it was launched two years earlier”
      • Why? – Facebook was already very popular and it was what everyone used
        • But then there was a “little fatigue” and Facebook became a place where everybody’s parents hung out, and it got really bloated in terms of features and functionality
        • Then Instagram came along with simple photo features – this resonated with tons of people
    • “I feel like there needs to be some distance and some space to let things get a little bit stagnant before we see another wave of innovation in that area”
      • “It wouldn’t surprise me if the next 2-3 years doesn’t bring the next iteration of Twitter, that is not Twitter, but another company that starts to pick away at their market share in terms of delivering relevant real time news”
  • For virtual reality (VR)
    • “I still think we’re quite a few years out until we get the right size, weight, computing power, hardware – all the things that are needed for something like that to feel like it’s ready for prime time”
    • A few years ago, Kevin wrote a Medium post on why VR would fail

We’re Not Taking Advantage of the iPad’s Full Functionality

  • Building off the above, with the new Apple iPad “There aren’t many apps taking advantage of the true potential of the iPad and running with it” – Om
    • “There is so much inherent capability inside that device…I feel like there needs to be more imagination on part of developers to say, ‘How can we really push and break this device?'”
  • “If you had to take it away from me, I wouldn’t go kicking and screaming saying, ‘I have to have this device,’ because I can’t point to any one application that is so different and so compelling that it’s a must have.” – Kevin

Innovation in Machine Learning Related to Photography

  • Kevin is a huge fan of the Google Pixel 3, specifically the camera
    • With portrait mode on the Pixel 3, using machine learning and high tech processing capabilities, every photo is optimized
      • These kinds of edits would have taken FOREVER to do in a photoshop software
      • “I’m excited to see what else there is we could do on the machine learning side to create a better outcome, with what we already have”
        • What we already have = the photo before it was optimized


  • “The excitement I have is around podcast discovery. No one has done discovery correctly.”
    • There are so many different podcasts out there now (Kevin says he subscribes to 20-30) – “But I don’t quite know where to direct my attention, because there are so many new episodes being published”
      • “You’ll sit there and say, ‘Wow, it’s been a couple of weeks since I listened to a podcast and there are 20 new episodes from a variety of different shows. Where do I decide to put my attention?'”
      • Sounds like Kevin needs to hear about Podcast Notes 😉
      • “If someone can figure out how to take the hundreds of thousands of new podcast episodes being published every single day and find me the best content – that would be exciting”
  • It’s great that podcasting really gives almost anyone a voice
  • Google recently launched their own podcast app on Android
  • Anchor is a great podcasting tool – they’ve really streamlined the podcast creation process
    • With a few taps on an iPhone, you can publish a podcast to iTunes
  • Someone needs to apply machine learning/advanced algorithms … just like like Netflix does for TV shows/movies…. to podcasting
    • So an algorithm would suggest podcasts/episodes you might like based on what you’re currently listening to, or have listened to in the past
  • Another good thought:
    • “It’s interesting that these podcasts are still a static mp3 file. There’s got to be a way Google could go in there while you’re listening to an episode of Joe Rogan and create an interface, so as he’s talking about certain Youtube videos or whatever, it would be overlayed in a very interesting and fun way so it feels more interactive”


These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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